Constipation Relief

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*The following post contains affiliate links to Amazon that help support this blog. These are only products I’ve tried and liked. Thanks for reading!*

I want to mention that I am NOT a doctor, so you should see your health professional for any health related problems. The following are just my opinions.

Constipation is uncomfortable, painful, and weird to talk about. It’s awkward for me to write this post, but…we all poop! Unfortunately, some of us have a harder time. So, when all the vegetables in the world aren’t helping, what do you do? Besides checking in with your doctor.

For an episode of acute constipation, these are the methods I’ve used to get relief.

1. Magnesium supplements

  • I’ve tried these with good results:

        • Magnesium Citrate works faster to relieve constipation than other forms.
        • Magnesium Glycinate is absorbed better than other forms.
        • I’ve taken both in one day, spread out and they’ve both helped.
        • For an every day maintenance dose, I take what the bottle recommends or what Chris Kresser or The Perfect Health Diet says. But for acute constipation, I’ll up the dosage a little. The highest I’ve taken throughout one day is 800mg, but definitely ask your doctor or pharmacist before trying this. Everyone is different and under different circumstances and won’t react the same.

2. Vitamin C Supplement

        • When I take it in conjunction with the magnesium, it can enhance the potential laxative effect. A lot of the vitamin C’s, even the buffered ones, hurt my stomach, unless I take them with A LOT of water or separate the dosages throughout the day.

 

          • This is one of the ones I have to spread out:
          • These don’t hurt my stomach but don’t pack as much of a punch:

            and

          • The dosage depends. For an acute fix, I’ve taken 500mg-3grams with good results. Kresser and PHD say similar things.

3. Prunes

        • If the magnesium and vitamin C don’t do it for you, you could try dried plums. I’ve tried it and though it got things moving within a couple hours, the bloating was pretty annoying (thank the SIBO/IBS).

4. Suppositories

This is for when I’m really desperate for relief. For when the pressure, cramps and need to push is there, but the stool is impacted or just too hard. It’s weird and uncomfortable, but I get relief within 5-15 minutes! So worth the weirdness.

        • The one that works for me, is easy to handle and has given me no side effects, is this one:

or

 

5. Jumping

        • Yep, jumping. Like a kid on a trampoline or an overly excited dog. Bouncing on the balls of your feet, running, jogging, using a trampoline, jump-rope, squat and jump, skipping. Whatever gets your body to go up and down can actually help your colon move things along. See the resource at the end of post for more info.
        • I usually bounce or do a light in-place jog or actually run outside. Don’t have to get sweaty, but just enough to start breathing harder. I do this as often as I remember throughout the day, and I usually see results.
        • Either way, I’m getting some exercise, so win-win.

Things I avoid:

1. Senna

        • Unless you’re backed up and have no urges, no feeling of having to go, you could try senna tea. When I tried the senna tea, it made the cramping and urge to go so much worse, but did NOTHING to help the softening of the stool.
        • I do NOT recommend Senna, but everyone is different and it might work for some people.

2. Other oral laxatives:

        • I’ve only tried Miralax and it’s horrible. Gave me terrible bloating and indigestion. Plus, it has unhealthy ingredients.

My best advice is to avoid getting to the constipation stage. If I notice my stools getting harder, lumpier and less frequent, I get to fixing it right away. The longer I wait, the more chance of an uncomfortable, acute constipation episode.

Next post will be about the things I’ve tried to help regulate my stools in the long term.

Sources:

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Betaine HCL for Bloating and Heartburn

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If you haven’t heard of Betaine HCL (hydrochloric Acid), here’s the gist: It’s a supplement taken by those who have a hard time digesting meals. It stimulates and helps your stomach acid do its job. It can also be helpful for people with heartburn, which sounds counterintuitive, but mainstream medicine has it wrong.

For more details, check out the resources at the bottom of this post.

Part of the process of healing my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) included taking Betaine HCL supplements. During my initial healing year, when I still had way too many digestive issues, HCL helped. Especially when I ate starches, big meals, or fatty meals.

Since then, I’ve had times where I can be off the HCL completely and feel fine. Other times, I’ll enter a period where the bloating, distention, and heartburn come back right after or during a meal. These times are a resurgence of bad bacteria in my gut (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

While I try to figure out once again what went wrong, I’m back to taking Betaine HCL supplements with each full meal. At one point, I got up to eight pills with a meal.

It probably won’t help everyone (didn’t help my husband when he had some digestive issues). But, if you’re still struggling with ups and downs of healing your digestive system, think about trying some Betaine HCL. Definitely ask your doctor about it.

Here are the ones I’ve tried with good results: (These link back to Amazon, which helps support my blog)

Resources:

1. Chris Kresser on GERD

2. SCD Lifestyle: How to Supplement with Bentaine HCL for Low Stomach Acid

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A Little More of My Story

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I’ve had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) most of my life.

My IBS symptoms waxed and waned through my twenties. The only thing doctors told me were: take more fiber, enjoy this acid blocker for the rest of your life and stay away from broccoli. It all culminated at the age of 27 when bloating, erratic bowel movements, pain, and heartburn escalated to red levels. On top of that, my bladder began to hurt. A lot.

There was a burning, stabbing pain deep in my pelvic area near my bladder that doctor’s couldn’t explain. One doc diagnosed it as Chronic Urinary Tract Infection. He put me on months of antibiotics which ruined more of my gut flora than I could have imagined. The other doctor wanted to stuff me full of pharmaceutical overactive bladder drugs, with no results.

So, I said good-bye to mainstream doctors and went in search of alternatives. This is where the alternative and functional integrative practitioners come in. They are licensed health professionals that help you treat your whole body, not just one symptom. And they never resort to covering up one symptom. They always get to the heart of the problem.

With the help of an integrative medicine practitioner, a bunch of blogs and some books, I began to treat my IBS with diet, supplements and herbal concoctions.

With the help of research and a pelvic floor physical therapist, my bladder pain was diagnosed as IC (Interstitial Cystitis) and subsequently treated with other supplements, herbs, and 2 years of pelvic floor physical therapy.

Throughout this alternative healing journey, I experienced profound healing. Both my IBS and IC symptoms reduced by about 80%. No, that’s not perfect, and yes, I have had many setbacks, but healing a chronic issue is a rocky journey. Staying healthy is an everlasting one. At least I now have options that mainstream medicine never gave me.

I started this blog to share my journey, so that maybe someone else will benefit or perhaps share their own insights to help me.

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